Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sugar, Sugar

She stared at the box.

Every day she had to go through this. It was ridiculous. It wasn't even as if Higgs & Meakins did good chocolates. They were just butter and sugar and--

She scrabbled amongst the sad little scraps of brown paper inside the box and pulled out a chocolate. No-one could be expected not to have just one chocolate, after all.

She put it in her mouth.

Damndamndamndamn! It was nougat inside! Her one chocolate today and it was damn artificial damn pink-and-white damn sickly damn stupid nougat!

Well, no-one could be expected to believe that counted. She was entitled to another.

- Terry Pratchett, The Thief of Time

No, my liver problems haven't gone away yet. In fact, I've been running under a new restriction for the past couple of months or so -- I'm supposed to drastically cut down on my sugar intake. This entire recommendation came about because my doctor noted that I had a fatty liver... which meant that, under the right circumstances, all I had to do was to lose some weight.

"So you have to cut down on your sugars," he told me. "Try to avoid most cakes and pastries. Continue avoiding carbonated drinks unless they're diet or sugar-free. Minimize contact with coffee, candy, or chocolate."

"No problem about that last part, doc," I told him. And it was true... there are plenty of candy and/or chocolate people in the world, but I'm neither. I will sing the praises of sugar about as easily as other people will... but my involvement usually only goes as far as carbonated drinks and tiramisu. After that, I don't know.

A few people do scratch their heads and wonder what I was like when I was a kid. The answer is simple: I was pretty much the same as I am now, with the same dislike for sugary confectionery. I did get a piece of candy stuck up my nose once (long story), but I assure you that it did not affect my psychology in any way.

This is not to say that I don't eat candy at all. I can consume the stuff as much as other people can... I just don't do it beyond a certain limit: say, about one piece at a time. How people can finish entire lollipops in one sitting or keep entire rolls of Life-Savers in their purses still astounds me. I mean, don't you get sick of this stuff?

The whole matter could also be related to the fact that diabetes runs in my family. But I didn't know this way, way back when I was a kid... and in any case, I'm currently not in danger of developing the condition. My lifestyle simply doesn't center around sugar all that much, short of the massive doses of Mountain Dew.

Then again, I suppose that it's a matter of "to each his own". If you're the type who eats a lot of candy, then I won't fault you for it. I'll probably write an entire piece of fiction about you someday, but I won't fault you for it.

And in any case, my disdain for the sweet stuff usually leaves a lot more candy on the dish in the middle of the living room. More for you, I suppose. Take it with my compliments.

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